Eskom: Customers helped end load shedding

Cape Town – There may be a lesson from Tuesday’s aborted stage 1 load shedding, as Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe praised consumers for heeding the call to reduce their electricity consumption.

READ: Eskom changes mind on load shedding - as it happened

Eskom earlier called for households and businesses to reduce their consumption due to a tightened grid and a loss of capacity due to some technical issues.

It announced that it would implement stage 1 load shedding from 10:00 until 22:00, but then at the moment of truth, tweeted that it had called off the action.

“Eskom did not implement stage 1 load shedding at 10:00 today as the electricity demand has decreased significantly since the early warning notification was made this morning,” it said in a statement.

There were three faults that impacted on the grid on Tuesday. Tutuka’s unit 6 experienced a condenser tube leak on Monday night and had to be taken offline, Duvha’s unit 6 had an outage so that repairs could be done on its oil cooler, while work was ongoing at Koeberg’s unit 1, which experienced an earth fault on the generator transformer on Sunday.

“Eskom has been working on urgent repairs since the incident occurred early this morning,” Eskom said.

Phasiwe told Fin24 that Koeberg’s unit was being synchronised and would be operational by Thursday.

Listen to the full interview with Phasiwe:

Praise for consumers

Phasiwe told Fin24 that every time Eskom experiences problems and issues a notice or alert, they see a big improvement in the load. “Also in the evening, when we issue the TV notices, we do see a reduction,” he said.

“We do feel South Africans are coming to the party [in terms of conserving electricity] and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the many households and residents and commercial and industry customers who are assisting us in terms of reducing the load,” said Phasiwe.

Asked if there would be stage 2 load shedding this week, Phasiwe said this was not something he wanted to see.  

“Generally, for us as a company and as a country, [stage 2 load shedding] is not something we would really like to go into,” he said.

“Even stage 1 [is not something we want], because stage 1 is just us trying to protect the system from collapsing,” he said. “But you don’t want to go beyond stage 1, because obviously it means that more people are affected and for a much longer duration of time.”

Eskom has shifted from stage 1 to stage 2 load shedding several times in the past couple of months, which has put major strain on the economy.

So, while the power system remained constrained and would remain so for the rest of this week, it would appear there were ways to prevent this.

“Any extra load or faults in the system may necessitate the need to go into load shedding,” Eskom said.

Cape Town vandalism

Meanwhile, Eskom said the situation in Cape Town remained the same, where three mini substations were vandalised, affecting industrial customers in the Blackheath area.

“Customers in that area will have power outages for most of the day today,” Eskom said in a statement.  “Eskom has been working on urgent repairs since the incident occurred early this morning.

“We ask communities to desist from vandalising Eskom property as it not only interrupts customers’ power supply but is also very dangerous and can lead to the loss of life. We urge customers who have any information regarding this incident to contact Eskom’s Crime Line on 0800 11 27 22.”

Turn off the lights

Have you seen an office block that leaves its lights on at night or street lights that stay on during the day? Email Fin24 with your photos and where you took it.

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